Hollywood Sports' SWEET 16 *SPECIAL FEATURE*: Frank Sawyer's Hollywood Sports was 2-1 in CBB last night to fuel his SIZZLING 30-16 (65%) CBB run -- JUST IN TIME for the NCAA Tourney & his SENSATIONAL 47-25 (65%) Big Dance run! Frank LOVES tonightís card including this situation supported by DYNAMITE 40-11 angles. JOIN Frank for this Sweet 16 *SPECIAL FEATURE*!
Game: Cincinnati at Ohio State Mar 22 2012 9:45PM
Grade: Loser (-110)
Reason: At 9:45 PM EST on Thursday, we will be playing the Cincinnati Bearcats plus the points versus the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. When Cincinnati and Xavier engaged in their infamous brawl early in the season, the aftershocks of that incident impacted both teams negatively. Yet both teams have new life now after reaching the Sweet 16. At least in the case of the Bearcats, we think the NCAA Tournament has offered this Cincy team the opportunity for retribution and redemption after that ugly incident. This was also was supposed to be a dangerous team for head coach Mike Cronin as he saw the top four players who shot the ball on offense return from the 26-9 team that lost to UConn in the Round of 32 last season. The need for Cronin to change the identity of his team after the suspension of players from the brawl into a more guard-oriented team may have provided a silver lining regarding what this team can do now. Cronin teams always play tough defense with the ability to employ a full court press. The Bearcats also do not turn the ball over which makes them use their possessions efficiently. The results have been a nice run to the Finals of the Big East tournament as well as the Sweet 16. Cincy has played five close games in a row -- and they have gutted out four of these games. We have no reason to not expect another close one here. The Bearcats have held nine of their last eleven opponents under a 1.00 Points-Per-Possession scoring rate. In the NCAA Tournament, Cincinnati has held both the computer-loving Texas and ACC Tournament champion Florida State to just a 37% shooting percentage inside the arc. That tough interior defense is led by Yancy Gates who provides the Bearcats a tough inside presence on both ends of the court.
Cincy (26-10) should build off the momentum from their 62-56 win over FSU as a 2-point underdog on Sunday. The Bearcats have covered the point spread in 6 of their last 7 games after both a straight-up victory as well as a point spread win. Cincy have covered 7 of their last 8 games against elite competition with a winning percentage over 60%. The Bearcats have covered 4 of their last 5 games as an underdog. And in their last 5 games played on a neutral court, Cincinnati has covered 4 of these games. Ohio State (29-7) comes off their 73-66 win over Gonzaga where they outlasted the Bulldogs despite the foul trouble to center Jared Sullinger. We certainly like this Buckeyes team -- and we narrowly lost with them on Saturday when they were laying 8-points (a late Gonzaga 3-pointer that rimmed out then back inside the cylinder turned out to be our point spread death knell). We like this Cincinnati team much more than that Bulldogs team. A flaw of this Buckeyes team has been that teams can jam Sullinger up in the middle if their shooters are not nailing 3s. Cincinnati is very equipped to implement that strategy. Additionally, Thad Motta's Ohio State teams have failed to cover the point spread in 13 of their last 19 NCAA Tournament games when favored. The "power" ratings indicate that the Buckeyes should be playing 8 or so points. In practice, we expect a much more competitive game between two defensive minded teams. Cincinnati is battle-tested with a renewed sense of purpose after enduring that ugly incident in the fall. They are a tough "out" who will keep this game close. 20* CBB Thursday Sweet 16 Special Feature with the Cincinnati Bearcats plus the points versus the Ohio State Buckeyes. Best of luck for us -- Frank.